UK: Hilbre High pupils back CCTV in school toilets

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-01-10 00:48:17…   Hilbre High pupils back CCTV in school toilets Oct 15 2008 by Lorna Hughes, Heswall News Hilbre High pupils back CCTV in school toilets PUPILS at Hilbre High School have joined their headteacher in defending a decision to install CCTV cameras in students’ toilets. Two weeks ago the News reported a teenager at the school had been given a detention for blocking a camera with Blu-Tack. His parents said they were horrified to find Hilbre High had installed CCTV and called it an invasion of privacy. Headteacher Jan Levenson said the cameras had been installed after suggestions from pupils and there had been no other complaints. In a letter to the News Ryan Dowd, Rebecca Lamb and Caroline Swift said: “Our school takes student safety very seriously and the student council was consulted about how to make sure that all students feel secure around school. “We discussed ideas like prefects patrolling areas like the pupils’ toilets; however we thought that this would feel like students ‘spying’ on one another. “We also felt that a staff presence in the toilets would be more intrusive than a camera. “We believed that CCTV in our restrooms would help, for example, if a pupil fell and was hurt or if someone had an epileptic fit and needed assistance; the monitoring provided by the cameras helps to keep us safe.” They added younger pupils had reported feeling “uncomfortable” in areas crowded with older students and felt reassured by the presence of cameras. The letter continued: “We do not feel that CCTV is an invasion of our privacy. In our opinion, the pupil referred to in the article is using this as an example to get out of trouble.” They added: “We believe that this development will be beneficial for students. Pupils who behave sensibly have nothing to fear; the cameras are just another watchful eye caring for us.” Around a dozen schools across Wirral have installed CCTV in washbasin areas of toilets, according to Wirral Council. A spokesman said the cameras had been “very successful” in cutting down on incidents of bullying. What do you think? Join the debate by e-mailing newsdesk@wirralnews….  or write to Letters, Wirral News Group, 76 Hamilton Street, Birkenhead CH41 5AN. Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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